The year was 1996 and Scarlett the cat (the name was later given to her by the adoptive family) was living with her 4-week-old kitten in a empty garage in Brooklyn, New York when a fire suddenly broke out. Firefighters were putting it out when one of them saw the feline mother taking her baby kittens one by one out of the burning building. Scarlett was severely injured herself, her eyes and years damaged really badly but she didn’t stop until the last of her babies was safe. The firefighters saw the mom touch the babies with her nose to make sure they were all there as she couldn’t really see. She eventually fell unconscious on the ground.
One of the firefighters took took Scarlett and her litter to Animal League America where they were all taken care of. One of the babies didn’t make it, unfortunately, but the other four made full recovery and were later adopted in pairs. As Scarlett’s story had gathered so much media attention more than 7,000 inquiries regarding Scarlett’s adoption were received by Animal League. The person finally chosen as Scarlett’s adopter was Karen Wellen who had been through a lot herself : she had had an accident in which she got hurt and shortly after that she lost her beloved pet. Karen provided Scarlett with lots of love and care during all the years they spent together. The cat required constant care due to some of the injuries she suffered in the fire and the heart murmur she was later diagnosed with.
Scarlett became world wide famous after being featured in TV shows, books and all kinds of media sources. Great Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals honored her and an animal heroism award was created by Animal League in Scarlett’s name which is given to animals succeeding in benefiting other through heroic acts of bravery.
Scarlett passed away on October 15, 2008 after spending 12 years in Karen’s loving home.